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Cadiz: Brian Lara is a phenomenal sport ambassador
T&T can no longer apply ineffective techniques in its efforts to bolster sport tourism according to Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz. Instead, the twin-island needs to develop new promotional solutions to achieve better campaigns to connect with international audiences when local athletes perform at overseas events.
Once this is achieved, then this country would have raised the level in marketing and branding destination T&T.
Cadiz said, “The Jamaican bobsled team is still in the news and they lost. We don’t even think going to (World Cup) Germany, and losing as a good thing. It could have been better. Look at what Jamaica has done with Usian Bolt. Jamaica knows how to market. Barbados knows how to market.”
The Minister was speaking to representatives from the international media at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad on Dock Road in Port-of-Spain, yesterday during a press briefing ahead of this week’s 14th annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainability Tourism Development.
Back in 1988 Jamaica shocked the world when it entered a bodsled team in the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. While the team claimed no medals, as the underdogs, they became an instant hit.
Citing the impact of the bodsled team, they returned to subsequent Winter Olympic Games in 1992, 1994. In 2006 and 2010, respectively, they failed to qualify (for the Winter Olympics).
The team's performance at the 1988 Olympics, however, inspired the 1993 film Cool Runnings.
“When it comes to sports, we are capitalising it. We have, in fact, nominated Brian Lara as one of our tourism ambassadors. I have travelled with Brian Lara to a number of conferences and Brian Lara is phenomenal, especially when you are looking and England and India.
“So we are using that to get out in with sport tourism, we already have activities here: there is (the) Tobago Cycling Classic. This year it attracted actual teams, not just individuals riding. So we know that there is value there,” he said
Cadiz added, “Of course, cricket, without a doubt! So when T&T goes to India, playing in the IPL, they going as T&T, this is not the West Indies playing and we will use that as a way of advertising T&T. When it comes to health tourism, we have great facilities here in T&T, but health tourism is not only about people coming here for whatever medical procedures. It’s all about elective surgeries and that is something we should be building on.”